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Health Change Bulletin          |          October 27, 2011            |          Volume Three Issue Forty Three
Complimentary Publication from Health Policy Publishing LLC 

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Te listened very carefully to the more than 1,300 comments we received on the proposed rule released this spring, and this final rule includes a number of improvements suggested by those comments that will strengthen the program. For example, the final rule will increase the incentives and streamline the Shared Savings Program, extending the benefits of the new program to a broader range of beneficiaries. Donald M. Berwick, M.D., Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)



AMA Statement on House Vote to Eliminate 3 Percent Withholding
American Medical Association, October 27, 2011


State Seeks Help to Cut Cost of Chronically Ill
Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2011

When a Law Loses Its Teeth, Can the Reform Still Bite?
California Healthline, October 26, 2011


HHS Releases Final Regulations For ACOs
Kaiser Health News, October 20, 2011


HHS announces incentives for providers to work together through ACOs when caring for people with Medicare
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, October 20, 2011




Welcome Progress, But the Final Verdict on ACOs Is Yet to Come
Health Affairs, October 27, 2011   


Want an Estimate of Medical Treatment Costs? Good Luck, GAO Says
Wall Street Journal Health Blog, October 24, 2011    




Limits on how Medicare patients obtain prescription drugs could prevent legitimate use of prescriptions
AmericanMedicalNews,, October 27, 2011


Kaiser fact sheet profiles dual eligibles and explains what health reform could mean for them
Kaiser Family Found,, October 27, 2011




CMS Announces Accountable Care Organization Rule

HealthCareGov, October 26, 2011



This Week's Selected List:


8 Things to Know About the ACO Final Rule

  1. Quality measurements reduced from 65 to 33

  2. All ACOs must eventually transition into Track 2 models

  3. The final rule eliminates barring ACOs with net losses from continued participation in the program

  4. The requirement that healthcare providers use electronic health records to report quality measures has been eliminated

  5. Participants can only be part of a single ACO

  6. Retrospective assignment has been slightly modified

  7. CMS will use a "step-wise approach" as the basic assignment methodology

  8. Governance is no longer required to be proportional to ownership

Notes: Costs are estimates $341 per missed work day is based on (inflation-adjusted) research published by Goetzel, et al. (2003)


Source: Becker's ASC Review
Source URL:


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